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More Blogged About Than Blogging

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James Tilly Matthews' sketch of The Air Loom Gang, c. 1800

We don’t know whether it is literally true that we are more blogged about than blogging – we do blog rather a lot – but from time to time the Archives & Museum does feature on blogs other than this one. Last year it was featured in blog posts written for universities, museums and chess clubs inter alia. We are always pleased about opportunities to reach a wider audience, and would like to thank bloggers, re-posters and re-tweeters alike.

In the recent past, however, the blogger that has featured us most often is the journalist and author Wendy Wallace, whose novel The Painted Bridge is slated for publication later this year. Wendy visited the Archives & Museum last year, and asked the Archivist to choose five items from its collections that were especially worthy of note. Faced with what he knew to be an embarrassment of riches, the Archivist initially demurred, but reminded of the precedent of British Museum’s History of the World project website (on which items held by the Archives & Museum are featured), he at last relented. His choices, as recounted by Wendy, were: the Cibber statues, John Munro’s 1766 medical journal, James Tilly Matthews’ sketch of the Air Loom, Henry Hering’s photographic portraits of Bethlem patients, and the artwork of William Kurelek.

Coincidentally, it is anticipated that the cover of The Painted Bridge will feature artwork strongly reminiscent of a cartoon drawn by a Bethlem patient of the nineteenth century, which was the subject of our recent In the Frame post.